Unseen

I work as a custodian for my church.  It is giving me a unique perspective on humanity and the God who loves me.

A good worker looks for places that no one sees and cleans them too.  They know that even if a guest comes in they will feel and possibly smell the hidden dirty places.

That is so much like our lives.  And reveals so much about our King.

He is THE KING, but He is also a good janitor.

We have so many dirty places.  Shame and fear, brokenness and discouragement, guilt and addiction often hiding beneath the chrome and porcelain coverings of church and religion.  We don’t want the Holy one to see, to touch the stains and decay of what we have hidden.  We wish He’d just stay off in His lofty temple, just be a statue on the wall.

But I see Him differently now.

I see Him pulling on some jeans, taking out a wrench, a screwdriver, a scraper and a rag.  He turns His cap backward and gets down on the floor beside me and my mess.

And if I let Him, oh if I just let Him, He pulls off the covers, exposes the dirt and urine and feces that I have held so close to my heart and He cleans me.  He scrapes away the build up of years, washes me with His tears and with His blood.

The KING, the righteous, holy King of Kings, washes me clean and I am free.

He wants to.  He loves to do that for us, in us.  It returns us to what He made us for in the first place.

And for us, we must let go of our pride and self-sufficiency.  We will have to show Him things that we like but we know He doesn’t.  We will have to let Him remove the things that are killing us, heart and soul, body and spirit.  And we will have to let Him make us live again.

Some of you know what I’m talking about, the slow, pervasive suicide we call our existence.

It will have to go.

But try to imagine being alive, truly alive.  Mornings that you don’t dread, challenges you don’t fear, people that you pour into rather than protect yourself from, running, flying rather than limping and crawling through each day.

That is what can happen when you let Him in.

He sees the unseen.  

Just let Him in.

We are not consumed 

I have been praying over some difficult situations lately.  There are several things that are weighing on my heart.  There are so many things that we’ve lost, so many dreams unfulfilled.  I am aware of hurting families, lonely singles, broken marriages, the addicted, the depressed, the discouraged.

At my job lately, I’ve been working a lot of hours.  Sometimes I am amazed at the strength God has provided.  It’s like I am a machine that just goes full steam, nonstop.  I did twelve hours yesterday and didn’t feel all that tired.  The ride home from work reminded me that I am not a machine.  Machines don’t get back pain or have trouble walking into the house.

I thought of the verse:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” (‭Lamentations‬ ‭3‬:‭22-24‬ NIV)

I just kept repeating the phrase, “we are not consumed.”  

Broken hearts consume us, but we are not consumed.  Sickness consumes us, but we are not consumed.  Hatred, bitterness, fear, sadness consume us, but we are not consumed.

How can we go through life, friends dying, hope crushed, some facing pain and sickness, torture, catastrophe and not be consumed?  It doesn’t even matter if you are a Christian or not.  Living begs the question, “how are we not consumed?”

And maybe you feel like you are consumed.  I feel like that sometimes.  “I can’t take anymore.  If one more thing weighs me down, I’ll die.”

But, I AM NOT DEAD!

I can take more.  I can still move.  I will take one more breath, think one more thought.  You will too.

All because of the love of God.  

As I say this, I see a picture that was posted recently.  The guns of Isis warriors pointed at and poking a small child.  I do not believe that child lived, and it’s last moments were horror.  That is an environment where God’s love has been shoved aside, where man has fully denied God’s heart and run after evil.  That is what would consume us all if God’s love was removed.

I will not accept lethargy, complacency or apathy.  Depression and despondency will not rule my days.  I will wait for the Lord and live in such a way that I bring honor to Him. 

Because I am not consumed.



Oh, for the love of…..Zombies?

Zombie movies surface from time to time and usually are received fairly well in the box office. The industry likes them because they’re usually fairly cheap to make. Low film quality and bad acting are often the norm, but, not always.

Recently I watched “World War Z”. You should know, at the outset, that I am not a fan of this genre. The idea that a human body can cease to function and yet still function, and often function amazingly well, is beyond ridiculous.

I won’t bore you with a lot of science at this juncture. In the movie, near the end, the star meets up with some World Health Organization people. He asks about his idea of using a lethal virus and they respond with an interesting line. “We already tried that. You need a functioning circulatory system to make them sick.” Apparently, it is not necessary for nerve cells (they see and smell) and muscle cells (they run really fast and jump huge distances) to be provided with nutrients. Those cells can function just fine without a circulatory system.

I don’t usually write just to rant about something. This is no different.

Life is a daily, constant miracle of chemical pathways, cognition, sensory input, defensive and salutatory mechanisms. It is a gift that is fragile, transient, that cannot survive randomly, thoughtlessly. It is constantly warring for survival and is amazing in its ability to adapt, improvise and overcome.

It is a gift that we can’t live without.

Zombies are not possible. The warning to us should be, are we really living?